Technology investment decisions are difficult when faced with competing interests.

Healthcare CEOs, CIOs, and COOs have differing prioritiesas they consider the question “Where should I invest?”

  • Efficiency improvements
  • Member experience
  • Technology innovations

There is a simple, but powerful, tool for making better decisions amongst such competing priorities. It can help with navigating the reality that we face as healthcare leaders:

  • Competing priorities
  • Overwhelming tech options
  • Race for competitive advantage
  • Speed of consumer and market
  • Risk and cost of wrong moves
  • Innovate for innovation’s sake

Making Decisions More Clear and FAST

The technique is called FAST Goals, which I evolved while at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute(2).  It offers a clear, visual way of making decisions that are aligned to and balanced across the desired outcomes of your business.

The key to using this tool is to start at the top with your business objectives. Then, decompose by asking “how” you can accomplish that goal. To validate each sub-goal that is added to the tree, ask “why” you are doing it.

You can download the webinar worksheet to practice creating your own FAST goals here.

Once a FAST goals diagram is developed, strategy and tactics are developed for each goal.

It is here that innovation finds its place. “Innovation consists of ideas that are translated into action to achieve a business-critical outcome.”

By aligning innovations this way healthcare organizations can avoid the risk of being blindsided by innovation and innovating for innovation’s sake.

Additionally, this alignment makes it possible to ensure a well-balanced portfolio of innovation. Innovations vary in their scale – from sustainments and enhancements to disruption and breakthrough — and the readiness of an organization, its clients, and the technology are key factors in determining how many innovations can be managed simultaneously.  Thoughtful consideration of this, coupled with the function of the innovation and its goal alignment, will ensure innovation investments that yield results.

Or in other words, by taking a view of innovation as a strategy or tactic, you can choose the right type, or style, of innovation based on your organization’s strengths and the type of outcome you want to achieve.
Using the FAST goals method and format, along with the innovation lifecycle worksheet, that we offered in the webinar can help you create a much clearer picture of what you need to do, how you need to do it, and why it’s a worthy goal.

Together, these tools are a one-two punch to keep innovation relevant and earning it’s keep for your organization.

Cribbs, Jeff. (2016, December 5). Predicts 2017: U.S. Healthcare Payer CIOs Make Bold Moves to Survive Healthcare Realignment. Retrieved from Gartner.

Siviy, Jeannine, Strategic Classification and Technology Selection in Multimodel Environments, SEI White Paper Series, March 2008, available at   (includes overview of “FAST goals”

We can help you Achieve Real Results

Contact Us